Friday, June 15, 2012
Sharing in AA about Your Relationship with God: Interview
Why and How It’s OK to Talk About God and the Bible in A.A. and Other Recovery Meetings—A Radio Interview by Dick B. Today (June 15, 2012)
With Long-Recovered Christian AA Speaker and Attorney Russell S. It can now be heard on
Copyright 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved
The thing that catches your ear when you listen to Christian AA Speaker and Attorney Russell S. of Miami, Florida is his bold, instructive, reassuring talk of why and how it is OK to talk about Almighty God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in A.A. and other Christian Recovery meetings today. And, of course, it is! But there are many reasons why. And there is a way to do it, as Russell explained in his radio interview on ChristianRecoveryRadio.com today.
Consider these points made by Russell:
As he puts it, “The Lord wants us to make disciples of people.” There is a reason why Joe and Charlie and their Big Book Seminars are special in A.A. But they shouldn’t be considered special. The reason their skilled talks were considered especially valuable was this. They were conveying basic information about the Big Book and Steps that most AAs don’t get or do forget. The same should be the case when it comes to speaking out about God, Scriptures, and Jesus and not faltering merely because you are an AA or are speaking to AAs. The treatment industry shoved people into treatment, he says, and from there to AA where newcomers were expected to attend and hear “discussion meetings” and “war stories” (I drank and drank and drank). But AA, he says, is not secular at all. The reason for reticence among Christians in AA is quite often fear, intimidation, and a pent-up desire to be liked by others.
But Russell declares that there is no reason to fear, to become intimidated, and to think that silence breeds approbation. AAs most certainly can and should express their faith and talk about what God has done for them. Stories about how people established their relationship with God are part and part of the A.A. Big Book text. Informed, experienced, long-term sobriety people in AA have a responsibility to do just that, Russell declares. Inexperienced newcomers need to hear about AA history, about God, about how the Steps incorporate Scripture. And it needs to be heard from those AAs who are informed, who are experienced in carrying the message, and who easily establish credibility with others by reason of their own extended and continuing victory over alcoholism. Victory that can and should be achieved by an alcoholic newcomer through AA and by learning AA history and maturing in their understanding that the victory can be achieved by reliance on God.
Russell gave his life to the Lord on December 25, 1980. He did it in his bedroom while watching an evangelist. He got sober on, and has remained continuously sober since January 25, 1981. In A.A., he found “incredible fellowship.” But there was a thrust to go deeper. He discovered that from reading the story in the Big Book about A.A. Number Three—attorney Bill Dotson. Dotson exclaimed, “There was something more. A freedom I hadn’t got.” And Russell was able to identify the appropriate direction by listening to long-sober AAs with between twenty and thirty-five years of sobriety. They were abiding Christians in Jesus Christ. They read the Bible. Theirs was a twenty-four hour program with which they were in lock-step daily. And Russell then began Bible studies, reading the Dick B. history books, and enabling himself then to connect the dots like a hand in a glove.
He pointed to the prevalence in Florida of strong A.A. Step meetings with strong long-sober speakers. The step study meetings were numerous and commonplace in his part of Florida. Russell developed his manner of presenting the Steps and incorporating his own Christian walk from the oldtimers and those meetings. “I do my deal and am blessed,” he stated. And he teamed with a pastor who started “Alive Again” meetings. They show the relationship between the Steps and the Bible. Those in Celebrate Recovery are welcome. Many churches have their own recovery meetings, but the central focus is on faith in Jesus Christ. There is much cross-pollination, and little worry about denominations.
His audience in the many A.A. meetings is well received by many who are believers, want to investigate, and who are then amazed. He is very excited today about the power of the internet and receives calls from all over from people who didn’t know but are listening to talks. They hear the recordings, give them away, and things go viral. And there are many places to hear the materials: (1) His own website www.rocketed.org. (2) Our website Christian Recovery Radio www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com, and Joe and Charlie talks on www.silkworth.net
Many in our International Christian Recovery Coalition, and many many others will thoroughly appreciate listening to these materials, learning from them, adopting from them, and disseminating them. And Russell is thankful for the grace of Almighty God and Jesus Christ in his life. He states he is blessed with fellowship and thirst.